In our recent white paper Why first followers are critical for growth, we outlined some of the actions for harnessing ‘first follower’ energy to grow and enhance your organisation.
A team of enthusiastic first followers will ensure your organisation offers quality goods or services and produces innovations that assist customers, clients or potential donors.
Here are some detailed tips on how to cultivate the first follower philosophy in your organisation.
Create regular opportunities for team members to put forward ideas and opinions at meetings:
- Allocate a portion of all meetings for Q & As from the staff, don’t break away without fully allowing staff to speak
- Timetable regular team ideas sessions, for example half-day new ideas meetings held quarterly
- Encourage informal group events, for example drinks gathering or golf days to enhance group trust levels
- Schedule one-on-one time with individuals to chat about their ideas, so that even reserved staff members feel confident raising valuable points during meetings
- Build a work culture that is respectful and open to receiving opinions.
Provide team members with educational opportunities to improve their mastery of systems and encourage them to understand how other aspects of the organisation work:
- Budget for training staff in new systems and technologies
- Schedule time so that upskilled staff can cross-train their co-workers
- Plan formal education sessions so department heads can explain the workings of different departments
- Plan informal learning activity sessions (breakfast/lunchtime gatherings) where staff members can volunteer to teach others new skills
- Allocate individual education budgets to boost personal growth and reward loyalty to the organisation.
Management/Directors publicly acknowledge the role of the team within the organisation:
- Demonstrate that organisation policy is to pay credit where it is due, whether that is to CEOs or support staff
- Use channels such as the intranet or digital staff newsletter to highlight staff achievements
- Institute a monthly rewards system for significantly contributing staff members – and not just those in Sales
- Organise a yearly awards night with accolades for individual and team excellence.
Management/Directors publicly acknowledge the role of the team outside the organisation:
- Use marketing and promotional channels, such as social media, to highlight staff achievements in the public arena
- Share good news about your team through digital media channels
- Enter your organisation in local business/NFP awards. The process of compiling the application will reveal the strength of your staff, the public showcasing will highlight your appreciation of their achievements – plus award wins are an added bonus.
There are lots of ideas to try to generate the perfect conditions in your organisation to develop an environment where first followers can shine.